A deserted and burning city

Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Borepatch has an exceptionally good post up today called  Napoleon's Sponge. In it, he compares Obama's overreach to Napoleon's disastrous decision to invade Russia.   

Napoleon had gone from victory to victory, until he was finally stalled in the deserted and burning city of Moscow and saw his invincibility, along with his army, dissolve as it withdrew from Russia.

So too has Progressivism had a 100 year string of forward movement from victory to victory until it stalled on the horns of empty treasuries and an ever expanding deficit. In both the U.S. and Europe there is now significant push back. What looked like the final victory for the Progressives is perhaps instead turning into a rout.

I think Borepatch is a bit over optimistic -- the retreating French army left no guerrillas, while bureaucracies and institutions are infested with them today. They will fight a long and brutal rear guard. None the less, it does appear that the high watermark of the Progressive movement may have been met.

Below is an excerpt from his piece. Be sure to follow the link above and read his entire post. 
Obamacare was the high water mark of the Progressive dream, equivalent to Napoleon's inconclusive "victory" at Borodino, where a quarter million men faced each other with grapeshot and bayonet, and 70,000 ended their campaign for good. Today Obama seems like Napoleon, looking upon the devastation that was Moscow and wondering how he can keep his army alive over the winter. 

He can't, and they're all deserting.  2010 saw the Democratic Party refuse to run on the "success" that was their biggest entitlement victory in a generation, because America increasingly hates it - to the point that
90% oppose the mandate to buy insurance.  That's not "50% plus one" where you can either convince people later or sweep it under the rug.  That's the time you start wondering if your party is the 1%.

The problem for Progressives is that Obama has let the mask slip.  He ran as a moderate who would reach across the aisle to get things done for America.  He's governed as a radical who is intentionally inflaming class warfare.  And so the Democratic Party finds itself in a crisis of legitimacy so profound that
even the Democratic pollster Stanley Greenberg can't avoid it:
But in smaller, more probing focus groups, voters show they are fairly cynical about Democratic politicians’ stands. They tune out the politicians’ fine speeches and plans and express sentiments like these: “It’s just words.” “There’s just such a control of government by the wealthy that whatever happens, it’s not working for all the people; it’s working for a few of the people.” “We don’t have a representative government anymore.”
But none of this has slowed the Administration, pushing stealth gun control via the ATF "Fast and Furious" operation, preventing oil drilling on public land or in the Gulf, or using the IRS to harass Tea Party organizations.  As Maréchal Ney said to Napoleon after Borodino, "Never let a crisis go to waste, even if you have to make the crisis."  (Err, I think I read that in a history book somewhere.)

And as we view the unfolding collapse of the Progressive vision in general and the Eurozone in particular, the Administration tells Congressional Democrats that they're on their own as far as fund raising is concerned.  Three years after receiving his Nobel Prize, the Emperor is leaving the advanced guard behind.   He's taking a sleigh away from the front lines to save his own chances, while they're expected to fall under Tea Party sabres in the snowy retreat.


KurtP said...

We haven't won yet, and those guerrillas will be there forever, just waiting for the right opening to put in a bit of script that cancels everything the authors meant ti to do.

Knucklehead said...

Yes, the Executive branch institutions are crammed full of guerillas. They will not go quietly. Any serious attempt to reform this mess will be met with an equally serious - and far more viscous - attempt to stymie the reforms.

We may be beyond salvation.

Borepatch said...

Thanks for the shout out.

I'd remind everyone that it's typically very difficult for a guerrilla insurgency to win.